To ring in the Chinese New Year, London's V&A Museum has released a group of pictures highlighting its collection of Chinese wallpapers, a decorative style once prevalent in Europe around the 18th and 19th centuries.
As part of the decorative style known as Chinoiserie, these wallpaper designs featured Chinese paintings of landscape, daily life and festive celebration, flowers, trees and birds, which inspired intense devotion among Europeans.
According to the V&A, most of the great houses of Europe contained at least one room decorated with a Chinese wallpaper, either an original or imitation, during that period. By the end of the 18th century, Chinese wallpaper featured in many households, while English and French manufacturers followed the fashion trend and produced imitations.
Chinoiserie mania didn't decline until the late 19th century, but the style came back occasionally in later years, including during the 1920s.
The upcoming Chinese New Year will usher in the Year of the Dragon. Seeing the array of wallpapers at the V&A may help give visitors a better understanding of Chinese culture.